Hurricanes

Cooper pledges $100K to prevent future flooding in Robeson County

Posted June 28

— Governor Roy Cooper pledged more support for the people recovering from Hurricane Matthew during a visit to Robeson County on Wednesday.

Cooper toured areas across the county, including a levee near Cox Pond that caused flooding problems for Lumberton.

"It was so bad I couldn't see it being repaired," said Mary Smith, who lives near the levee.

Smith's home suffered minor flooding in 2004, so she raised it. But it was not high enough to keep Hurricane Matthew flood water out. The water stood seven to eight feet high back in October.

"We were waiting for the boat because when it was up to the steps we decided we had to leave," she said.

Cooper stopped by the levee and reviewed maps that showed what happened.

Lumberton's mayor said the levee didn't break, instead the water went around it.

"I was up on the bridge when it literally took this track away. Rocks, sand, rails, everything," said Mayor Bruce Smith. "Just washed it away. I had no idea that much water could be that powerful."

Cooper said the city is getting $100,000 to figure out how to fix the problem. He also announced more than $800,000 in grant money for churches and other non-profit organizations that are helping rebuild and getting families back into their homes.

"Obviously we hope there's more to come and we know that the labor that is being provided by these volunteers is invaluable," Cooper said.

Smith is hopeful things will improve.

"I think it's nice and I appreciate what he said about fixing the levee," she said. "I think that will help a lot."

The Nomads of the Methodist helped Smith get back in her home two months after it flooded. They continue to help her with repairs.

Cooper said he hopes the $100,000 survey can be completed in three months so they can develop a plan to fix the problem.

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